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Neck Pain

The human head weighs on average about 12 pounds.  Holding that head up are a few muscles, ligaments, and seven small vertebrae, that together make up the cervical spine or better known as our neck.  

We ask a lot of our necks.   

We turn our heads to see if any cars are coming or if it is safe to change lanes.  We look down at our phones, computers, and televisions. We nod yes and no in conversation. 

All this turning and looking can put real stress on our cervical spine leading to neck pain. 

Next to back pain, neck pain is one of the most common reasons people visit our Raleigh chiropractic office. 


Neck Pain can present itself in many ways including:

  • Loss of regular motion or inability to turn our head fully 
  • Tightness and tension of neck muscles from back of the head to the upper part of the shoulder
  • Feeling like our head is too heavy 
  • Pain or tingling down the arm 
  • Difficulty sleeping due to inability to find comfortable position for our neck
  • Aching with prolonged computer use


“So happy I found Dr. Ashforth.  I’ve suffered from neck and shoulder problems for years.  I’ve lived in a lot of different places and have seen probably 15 or 20 different chiropractors in my life and Dr. Ashforth is my favorite. He’s skilled in many different modalities of Chiropractic care. So if one way isn’t working, he can adjust. And no harsh forceful movement here. Everyone in the office is friendly and easy to work with.” –Andrea J. Raleigh, NC 

Why are you having this neck pain?

There are a number of reasons you can be having neck pain.  

The most common causes include:

  • Poor head posture when on the computer
  • Looking down at your phone frequently often called text neck
  • Auto accidents which cause whiplash
  • Collison sports like football, soccer and lacrosse
  • Sleeping with an unsupportive pillow
  • Prolonged stress or tension

You have seven freely moveable joints in your neck.  All of these joints depend on each other to provide you the movement you have come to enjoy. 

If the neck is put under stress whether by prolonged poor postures or a sudden trauma the joints can become stuck and not move as they were designed. 

This lack of proper motion sets the stage for the joints, discs, muscles and ligaments of the neck to become weakened and susceptible to injury.

neck pain relief

Common Neck Conditions:

The most common neck problems we treat include:

  • Strains of the supporting muscles and tendons of the neck
  • Whiplash injuries from auto accidents and other trauma
  • Radiating pain and tingling into the arm
  • Disc bulges
  • Disc herniations
  • Arthritis of the cervical joints


Commonly asked question: I have pain in my neck that goes down my arm, do I have a pinched nerve or disc bulge?

Pain down your arm is known as radicular pain.  Radicular pain can be caused when a spinal disc, excess bone, or overgrown ligaments begin to pinch the nerves in your neck that travel down your arm into your fingers. 

Having a pinched nerve doesn’t mean you are destined for surgery. In fact, the majority of people with disc issues get relief with chiropractic care. 

How do we help you with your Neck Pain?

The first step in helping you with your neck pain is to properly figure out what the problem is.  

To do this we do the following at our Raleigh chiropractic office:

  • We ask you detail questions about your current complaint
  • We ask questions about your current lifestyle and what you are asking your body to do
  • We do a Functional Movement Assessment to see how your spine is moving and what areas may not be functioning properly.
  • If indicated we will take X-Rays of your spine to check for alignment, arthritis or other complicating factors.


Next Steps:

The days of taking drugs and medications for neck pain are over. Prescriptions are now rarely recommended as a first option because of their dangerous side effects and, frankly, lack of results. 

New research shows movement-based strategies like spinal adjustments, controlled exercise, and dynamic stretching are some of the most effective ways to relieve neck issues. 

The main goal of chiropractic care in our office is to restore normal movement to your spinal joints.  

Once we know where the problem is we improve your spinal motion in several ways including:

  • Spinal Adjustments using the safest most advanced instruments.  Chiropractic adjustments work on the specific joints of your spine that are “stuck” or restricted. This begins the process of improving your range of motion and often provides quick relief from pain.
  • Soft tissue mobilization to reduce muscle spasm that are restricting movement. Often we use an instrument called a percussor that creates a deep vibration to the muscle releasing adhesions and improving circulation through the muscle. 
  • Intersegmental traction to unlock tension around the spine.
  • Specific exercises designed to restore normal movement patterns.
  • Specific stretches to reduce muscle tension in the fixated regions.
  • Education on proper ergonomics to ensure you don’t keep doing the same damaging things to your spine over and over. 


I don’t want you to crack or pop my neck (we understand)

No worries. The technique I use to adjust the cervical spine is gentle and requires no twisting, popping, or cracking of your neck.  

I use an instrument called the Impulse Adjusting Instrument that is 100 times faster than a manual adjustment. The fast speed reduces the amount of force that is needed to get the spine moving correctly. 


So if you have neck pain there is a solution. 

Chiropractic care is a safe and effective way to restore normal motion to your neck and fix the problem, not just covering up your symptoms with risky potentially addictive drugs, spinal injections or surgery.

Our practice is focused on helping you decrease pain, improve your mobility, and live a healthier life. The first step to feeling better is to give us a call and let us help you get back in motion.


“… I had been tolerating pain at the base of my skull for some time and decided to go see Dr. Ashforth.  I began to experience relief immediately through his painless techniques, unlike my previous experiences with chiropractors. He is truly on your side!” –  Geri D. Raleigh, NC

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